This week a profoundly ugly scandal came to the surface involving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who just happen to be husband and wife. It turns out Chao has been using her position to inappropriately earmark an outsized amount of federal funds for McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, in a blatantly corrupt effort at getting the increasingly unpopular McConnell reelected. Now Chao is hitting the proverbial panic button.
Elaine Chao has finally sold her stock in a company called Vulcan Materials in order to settle a conflict of interest, after she had long made repeated false promises to do so, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. It turns out she sold them on June 3rd and it’s just being reported now. But with the long lead time on major investigative newspaper stories, and newspaper reporters’ propensity to ask for comment in advance of the story, it’s not difficult to parse that Chao sold the stock as a way of trying to cover her tracks after she learned that her corruption was about to come front and center.
This isn’t going to work, however. House Democrats are already talking about holding investigative hearings into Elaine Chao’s corrupt antics as Secretary of Transportation. Mitch McConnell will likely try to argue that the Democrats are targeting her simply because she’s his wife. But in reality, the House has oversight authority when it comes to anything that a cabinet member does – and Chao’s scandal certainly falls under that purview.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report